News Comments:Exploring, Modeling, and Online Prediction

  • Manos Tsagkias
  • Wouter Weerkamp
  • Maarten de Rijke
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5993)


Online news agents provide commenting facilities for their readers to express their opinions or sentiments with regards to news stories. The number of user supplied comments on a news article may be indicative of its importance, interestingness, or impact. We explore the news comments space, and compare the log-normal and the negative binomial distributions for modeling comments from various news agents. These estimated models can be used to normalize raw comment counts and enable comparison across different news sites. We also examine the feasibility of online prediction of the number of comments, based on the volume observed shortly after publication. We report on solid performance for predicting news comment volume in the long run, after short observation. This prediction can be useful for identifying news stories with the potential to “take off,” and can be used to support front page optimization for news sites.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manos Tsagkias
    • 1
  • Wouter Weerkamp
    • 1
  • Maarten de Rijke
    • 1
  1. 1.ISLAUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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